FRIDAY – I hope you’ve seen that the odd venture into unfamiliar leagues does tend to bring the odd shock, such as Cluj losing 0-1 ( although I mentioned away side likely to score!). My preference is for the Premiership et al, rather than Finnish, or Ukraine leagues, but hey it’s Friday and I need to practice my research!

430pm – VPS v HJK Helsinki – 1.76 away – 7th v 1st and the away sides, for me, suggest a tough match and likely 1-1, 1-2 away win.


Sat 04/08/12 VEI HJK 3 – 3 VPS View events More info
Thu 24/05/12 VEI VPS 1 – 0 HJK View events More info
Wed 21/09/11 VEI HJK 2 – 0 VPS View events More info
Sat 16/07/11 VEI HJK 3 – 0 VPS
3-3 last head to head  saw Helsinki 1-3 down. VPS are unbeaten in last 2 head to heads.
HOME TEAM – -past fixtures, forthcoming fixtures and likely team – VUPS.
RECENT HOME FORM – WLWLWLLW – no recent draw at home. 4 of the last 6 home wins were to nil and 3 of the last 4 home defeats were by 3 goals
RECENT FORM OVERALL – LWWLLWLLWD – a recent drawless run ended last match.
GOAL TRENDS – 6 overs in the last 9 matches. 50/50 overs at home all season.
STREAKS – have conceded in all of last 11 matches. No draw in 10 at home.
AWAY TEAM – past fixtures -forthcoming fixtures and likely team – HJK
RECENT AWAY FORM – LWLDLLLWWD – a recent sticky patch saw only 2 away wins . Have scored 242 in last 3 away matches . Prior to that they failed to score in 4 of 5 away matches.
RECENT OVERALL FORM – WWWDWDWDW – good unbeaten recent run. Current sequence of DWDWDW which, if continuing, will mean a Draw this match.
GOAL TRENDS – HJK have scored in 8 of last 9 matches. Have conceded in 6 of last 9 matches. 57% overs away from home is inconclusive. Will their new found goalscoring away continue into a 4th consecutive match.
STREAKS – no defeat in last 9 overall. They have conceded in the last 8 away.
CONCLUSION/NOTES/STANDOUT STATS -Helsinki have a good recent form record, but head to heads see VPS on top last 2, will that continue? Overs/unders is inconclusive. HJK have a good recent goalscoring record though which may continue. no recent draw at home sees VPS either winning or losing. Will this drawless sequence continue? If so, we only have 2 outcomes from three to choose from, the home win, or away win.

5pm – Kaiserslautern v SV Sandhausen – 1.4 home – 3rd v 14th in the Bundesliga 2. No defeats for kaiser this season but an unwelcome run of 3 1-1’s in the last 4 matches. In fact, Kaiserslautern have scored and conceded in all bar 1 match this season, which was a 0-0 home match v current 5th in the league. At home Kaiser have been plagued by draws against 1st, 2nd, 5th and 12th and only won 2-1 at home to bottom side. 2 consecutive 1-1 draws at home now, albeit those were toughies against current 1st and 2nd.  Sandhausen have won only 2 this season, at home to 6th and 12th. They have conceded in all away matches, and the higher up the league they play, the more they lose. 2-1 away to 17th, 1-1 draw with 13th, 3-0 loss to 9th and 4-0 loss to 5th. 

The 3-0 and 4-0 defeats came in the last 2 away matches, which were the only matches in which Sand did not score this season.

Who will out? Will kaiserslautern continue to concede? Surely they will not draw 1-1 again ( against 1st and 2nd and now playing 14th).

There is a possibility that Kaiser could score 3/4 today, but that is not reflected in the 1.4 quote . The goals trends are incongruous but hint at overs if Kaiser continue to score and concede as they have.

5pm – Shakhtar v Illychivets – 1.09 home – another test of my sub 1.18 theory!

Shaktar have won the last 6 head to heads . They have scored 3-3-2 in their last 3 head to heads. We have the hope therefore for at least 3 goals tonight. 20 match winning streak at the moment. 10 match winning streak at home, scoring 4-2-3-3-6-1-4-3-3-2.

opponents are very inconsistent. Not always a welcome trait in this betting/trading world!3 of their last 4 defeats have been 1-0 and they have not conceded more than 2 goals in 18 matches.

If we assume the Shaktar win, then it might be 2 goal minimum victory unless Shaktar can end the Illi sequence of not conceding more than 2 .

6pm – Genclerbirligi v Galatasaray – 1.98 away – gala have won the last 3 head to head, and the 2 away wins were 1 goal in it affairs.

This is 3rd v 1st so expect a tight match. This is another match which will test out my theory regarding away odds. I would suggest 1.98 points to a likely 1-1 draw, possible 1-2 away win or derivative thereof.

The home side are unbeaten at home, and drew , guess what?, 1-1 with 2nd placed at home. Galatasary away lost to 2nd placed 2-0 but have scored 4 and 3 against 7th and 11th away from home.

Gencl are on a 2 match win with clean sheet run, but Gala are now LD in their last 2 matches and after scoring 2-3-3-4-3 in the opening matches, have scored 0-1 in their last 2. Both sides have only failed to score in 1 match, which again gives us hope for a 1-1 at some occasion during the match.  Both teams have a 67% strike rate for overs but it’s only a small sample of 7 matches.

Not a match with strong angles in. Only 7 matches played, and 1st v 3rd ( are gencl a false 3rd , and just having a good start to the season? gala were top last season ). gala on a sticky patch of LD at present, gencl 2 wins to nil.

I would speculate on 1-1 opening trade. It will remain intact whoever scores first.


6pm – Rosenborg v Sandnes Ulf – 1.24 home -2nd v 2nd bottom so this match, after 25 this season, is important in different ways. Rosen could go first and Sandfes could nudge up to 3rd bottom ( it’s a start!) At home, Rosenborg have score drawn against 11th, 12th, 13th and scored 3 against Aalesunds and Staebecks.

Sandnes have lost against 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th conceding 3-2-3-3-4-3-5. The only reason they have no result against 2nd is because they’re playing them today.

They scored away v 1st , 3rd, 4th, 5th.

a team scoring 2at home on average v a team conceding 2.58 away on average. For me Sandnes have conceded 3+ against the top 8. This could be the clincher for me. No win to nil as Sandnes get a consolation goal v top 5 away. Rosenborg have scored 3 and 5 in their last 2 home matches . 5-2-4-3-3- conceded by Sandnes in their last 5 away matches.

3 minimum for Rosenborg? I hope, in a match which could see both teams score.

7pm – Anderlecht v Waasland-Beveren – 1.27 home – 2nd v 14th after 10 matches. Anderlecht are 3 points off top spot so would want to keep the pressure on top team .  Anderlecht have only lost 1 game this season. It happened to be their last match a 2-1 away loss.

2-1-2-3 scored at home so far this season. Only 1 win was at home  against bottom side. Waasland have scored and conceded in all away matches, 3-2-5-3 conceded in the defeats.

Anderlecht at home have beaten 10th and 11th, scoring 2 and 3. Sign that this should be as comfortable as the odds suggest. But what of Waaslans beating 3rd team away 2-3. They have scored in all away matches, so perhaps hope they score first today, and perhaps go for over 3.5, 4.5 goals if the markets are liquid on Betfair.


815pm – Braga v Leixoes – 1.22 home – only 1 draw in last 12 Braga cup matches was a 0-0. Last 2 defeats in this competition were v Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. Braga are unbeaten at home in this competition since 2007, with 2 draws and 4 wins.

The last top flight team Leixoes met was Porto in 2009, a 1-0 defeat away. All 3 defeats have been 1-0 away and all wins, 2-1 away against Espinho and arouca.

Not much to go on. Braga team news would be ideal. Braga have scored 3-4-4 at home against Portugeuse opponents lately so are in top form. Their next match after this is on the 3rd November, so you’d expect them to field  a strong side.

On a personal note, it is pleasing to see Goalkeeper QUIM in the team, if only for schoolboy sniggering potential.

SATURDAY – A word of caution. It is Champions League week following this weekend, so be wary of all competitors playing today. There may be team changes from the likes of United, Chelsea, City, Arsenal, Bayern, Barca et al.

Ahh, the Portugeuse Cup 0-0 between Braga and Leixos allowed for a late late delayed bet laying the draw at heavy odds on, but it failed. Still it was a value punt. Braga scored 3 after extra time. Shaktar came from a goal down to win 2-1. I did warn you that , unlike other 1.09 shots, they were unlikely to score a bucket load.  Rosenborg won 2-0 and Anderlecht won 2-0.  Kaiserslautern conceded again, but it was not 1-1 this time, it ended 3-1 to Kaiser and sanhausen conceded 3-4-3 now in last 3 aways. Let’s hope for some matches today which are as easy to read!!

1230pm – St Mirren v Celtic – 1.53 away– 7th v top and Celtic are a top with a game in hand.  St Mirren have not scored in the last 5 head to heads. What makes us think they’ll score on this occasion?, and against a celtic team yet to concede in their last 3 matches. Celtic have been vulnerable of late away, DWLW . Only 1 loss for Celtic this season. No draw for these 2 in their last 4 matches each,

2-1-2-5 scored by St Mirren in their 4 home matches this season, including 2 consecutive wins. Will this put the to nil win for celtic at jeopardy. It points to an ability by St Mirren to score so far at home. St Mirren have scored in all bar 1 this season. Celtic have scored in all matches this season. So look if it’s 0-0 for a while as we can lay low and hope Celtic continue to score in each match.

1245pm – Tottenham v Chelsea – 2.64 home – Spurs the favourites in this high profile local derby.  5th v 1st and Chelsea will be hoping to keep their unbeaten run in tact. Only loss for Spurs was on opening day of the season. DDWW at home so far. Of the big boys, Spurs played United and beat them 2-3. Extenuating circumstances? International Break and upcoming Champions League match for United?

Spurs have scored and conceded in all bar 1 match this season, a 2-0 win against Villa.

Chelsea have won all bar a London derby away to QPR, again when Chelsea had extenuating circumstances. Chelsea are yet to play a match against top 6 opponents so this is a walk into the unknown for this season, with new management for the opposition and post transfer.

In 5 of the last 6 head to heads, both teams have scored. Spurs have not conceded in the first half hour of matches this season, but Chelsea have scored 7 in the first half hour and conceded all of their 4 goals in the first half.

Hmm, intriguing.

This looks an obvious “both teams to score” kind of match. There is slight concern from me that Chelsea are yet to meet current top 6 sides this season so we cannot gauge their likely performance for this match. a match to view and decide I think, with a nod to the research. Tough to call this one!

1pm – Zenit St Petersburg v Kuban Krasnodar – 1.42 home – 4th v 7th with 11 matches into the new season. 1-1, 1-1, 2-2 in last 3 head to heads. 2-0, 1-0, 1-1 in last 3 Zenit home head to heads sees these 2 tough to split. Hulk and Witzel are 90 million euros of talent brought into  Zenit and are the difference between the Zenit of last season’s Head to Heads, and today’s .

WWWLLD for Zenit at home this season. 3 consecutive home matches without a win should end soon. They are priced to end it today, but it may not be as straightforward as the odds suggest ( at least that’s what the form tells me – are Hulk and Worzel the difference?)

Defeats against 3rd and 8th at home, and draw v 5th could make Zenit vulnerable to current 7th.

Zenit have failed to score in only 1 this season.

No draw away yet for Kuban Krasnador, why? Well it’s down to wins against 5th ( 0-1) and 14th (1-2) and defeats v 1st, 8th, 10th and 12th. Clearly Kuban are vulnerable away from home at present.

Kuban have only failed to score in 1 this season, and have only kept 2 clean sheets in 11 played.

ANGLES IN? Well, how much of a difference will the 90 million boys have in ending these tight head to heads? Zenit, note, have not lost at home in head to heads, with 2-0, 1-0, 1-1 and a clear emphasis on defence at home.  Kuban may be too big to lay.

The draw is not factored into any of Kuban’s away matches. Is that an angle in? Zenit have not won their last 3 home matches. This is an unwelcome sequence they would surely like to see ended.

Goals trends are incongruous. I would look to head to heads for guidance and a derivative of the last 3 head to heads, 1-1, 1-0, 2-0 as potential value correct scores. I hope the 3 match sequence without winning at home , and the signings of Hulk and Witzel will be the difference which turns the draws of the last 3 head to heads into a welcome home win.

230pm – Dortmund v Schalke – 1.72 home– I think Dortmund at home are a solid bet, regardless of price. let’s see if form agrees. 4th v 3rd and Schalke are having a great first 7 matches this season. This is the reasoning behind the 1.72 quote as Dortmund would usually be far shorter. Perhaps too, we factor in the Champions League matches on the 24th October, where Dortmund host Real Madrid and Schalke take on Arsenal. 

There is a level playing field in that regard today. Dortmund have not lost the last 5 head to heads 0-0 and 2-0 at home last 2 H2H and Dortmund are 2-1 and 2-0 last 2 head to heads home and away.

The loss of kagawa was balanced by the arrival of Reus and as long as Lewandowski is in the side, Dortmund always have a chance.

2-1, 5-0, 3-0 at home for Dortmund sees them in good shape infront of fans, but on the road, they are dropping points with silly concessions. 3 goals conceded against Hamburg away, 0-2 up and ended 3-3 against Frankfurt away, and 0-1 up and 1-1 86th minute equaliser away v Hannover.

Thenkfully, they are not repeating these defensive calamities at home where they have conceded only 1.

Dort have played only 2 matches against top 5, 2 away draws 3-3 and 1-1 . Schalke have played 2 against top 5, 2-0 home loss to Bayern and 2-2 draw with 5th.

That bayern match was the only one Schalke have failed to score in. Dortmund have scored in all matches this season.

Schalke have scored 2 in 2 2-2 and one 0-2 win away from home. Can their goalscoring continue, or  as with the Bayern match, will they be kept out?

Only 7 matches in, but the trend is for over 2.5 goals ( it’s a weak trend based on 7 matches only).  The question mark surrounds Dortumnd’s defence. Can we rely on it at home, because away it’s pants? will Schalke score 2 away again, or Can Dortmund continue their strong defensive showing in home head to heads where they kept 2 clean sheets in last 2?

This is a toughie. Dortmund have scored 10 in the first half and conceded 2. Schalke have scored 5 in the first half, and conceded 1. Again, who will out? Defence or attack?

As this is 4th v 3rd, I suspect this will be a tight match, and perhaps we can use the Bayern result for Schalke as a template. Likely to be a tight first half, with defences ontop, and potential vulnerability 2nd half.

This match is not clear cut by any means, which makes it tough to solve for me, and one to put at the bottom of the list ( regrettably as I love Dortmund at home).  Were I to play, I would bank on Dortmund’s defensive qualities at home. If Schalke score first ( and they have scored 6 in 3 aways, I would lay them).


230pm – Fortuna Dusseldorf v B Munich – 1.35 away – the value here would be on the layers side or the big odds correct score punter.

7th v top and the only perfect record in the Bundesliga .

The only 2 wins for Dusseldorf have come away against bottom and 3rd from bottom. Not quite the ammo you need to scare Bayern.

3 draws at home so far, 2-2 against 3rd and 0-0 against 10th and 11th. There is always a chance of a “spoiler” from dusseldorf in this match.

Dusseldorf have kept 5 clean sheets so it is within the realms of possibility, although they have only played one of the top 9 at home, and then conceded 2 goals.

4 consecutive clean sheets for Bayern and the have never failed to score less than 2 in a match, or concede more than 1 in a match.  7 of Bayern’s last 9 matches have seen 2nd half goals, so it seems they are used to a bit of  defending from opponents first half.

33% overs for Duss at home, and Bayern away ( thanks largely to not conceding and scoring 2 minimum).

Bayern have scored 4 before halftime and 8 after halftime so no panic if it is 0-0 at halftime ( and that is conceivable).

There is nothing about Dusseldorf which makes it look as if they will win. 0-0 is a possibility given Duss’s recent spate of 0-0’s ( although when meeting a top team, they conceded 2 at home).  2 0-0’s in Bayern’s last 2 away matches at half time. You know what to do if it’s 0-0 at halftime, what with Bayern scoring 8 in the first 1/4 hour after halftime.

230pm – Santa Eulalia (Por) v Porto – 1.06 away – you can rely on Porto usually to win when they should and to meet goals expectations. 3rd division v Porto! Nuff said?

Santa have won their only 2 cup matches against questionable opponents and none from the top flight.

In the last 17 matches, Porto have only lost to Benfica and Academica in this competition.  The Academica match was away from home and Porto’s last in the Cup. They did score 3-6-8 in last 3 aways prior to Academica.

This should be a spanking and a half, but Porto have a Champions league match against Kiev on the 24th October to think about, so watch out for team changes. Note too, Braga were 0-0 in their home Cup match yesterday. You take your chances with Cup matches.

3pm – Fulham v Aston Villa – 1.85 home – although Fulham are doing ok away, I suspect years of poor away form has meant an over reliance on winning the home matches. 9th v 16th today. And with managerial changes and major attacking changes for Fulham, there’s a feeling that head to heads will be rather redundant post transfer market. A cursory glance sees 3 draws and a 90th minute 1-0 Villa home win in last 4 head to heads.

Paul LAmbert is struggling with Villa, who have a single 2-0 home win against Swansea to their name amongst 4 defeats and 2 1-1 draws.

LDLL away so far for Villa, and interestingly, the earliest concession was in the 40th minute.All 4 goals conceded v Saints and 2 conceded v Spurs were scored in the 2nd half. Take note of that if 0-0 at halftime.

Fulham have lost 3 this season, one against Man Utd and one against Man City – probably expected, but a 3-0 away loss to Hammers was a bot of a shock. 5-0, 3-0, 1-2 at home. City only won because of an 87th minute Dzeko goal. A suggestion that Fulham are tough to score against at home, and doubly so against a side scoring 0-1-1-0 away.

Fulham are top 10 at present, and Villa have lost 3 and drawn 2 1-1 against current top 10 ( again this may not be a strong indicator given so few matches in the season ).

Fulham have conceded 8 goals in the first half, and we know about Villa’s vulnerability in the 2nd half. An ultra speculator would look at Villa 0-1 halftime and then Fulham to score 2nd half? Fulham’s only concessions at home have come in the final quarter of an hour of matches. Villa’s 2 away goals have come in the first half and all of their conceded goals have come 40th minute + .

There are stronger and more readable matches today. It would be interesting to see if Villa can nick the first goal. They are adept at not conceding usually away in the first half.

3pm – Liverpool v Reading – 1.38 home – 14th v 18th and both teams yet to gett into double figure points and with a win, and 3 points, neither team will reach 10 points. Poor starts on each occasion and Liverpool are suddenly 1.38! That to me instinctually is too short.

Only 1 win between these 2 teams all season, and that was a Liverpool 2-5 away win against Norwich, 2nd bottom to Reading’s 3rd bottom. Reading have been losing against top 6, drawing against mid table ( score draws).

As liverpool go down the table, it’s generally losing against top 7, draws against mid table teams and a win against bottom 3.

Both teams have conceded in all matches this season, bar Liverpool 0 -Stoke 0 lately. 4 of Reading’s last 5 matches saw a total goals of 6-4-1-4-4 . Consecutive 2-2 draws must end sometime. The frustrated Reading manager will look for a 2-1 win here, or a 3-2 win, not a 2-2 draw.

Liverpool, having faced City, arsenal and United so far, have beaten Norwich and drawn against Stoke. Playing these lesser sides is yielding positive results.

No home win for Liverpool this season is a great motivating factor for them today.They have conceded 2 in last 3 home matches, but that was against City, Arse, and United. BUT then Reading have scored 2 in their last 2.

This could be a goal fest . I could see both teams scoring, opening up a possible enhanced trade if Reading are ahead, especially if they go 0-2 up! ( Please!!). Motivation with Liverpool to win as they have not won at home yet, should eventually bring the points to Anfield, so take note if it’s 0-0 for a while.

3pm – Man Utd v Stoke – 1.32 home – will this be the Stoke which turned up against Chelsea? Man Utd are unbeaten in recent head to heads, and won at home, 2-1 last 2 matches which is just a typical Stoke scoreline, along with 1-0.

No draw for United yet, plays 5 draws for Stoke in 7 matches.

3-4-2 scored by United at home this season. THey could score 2 against Stoke, but the suggestion is that the 2nd goal will come latish.

1-0 away loss to Chelsea, and 0-0 v Liverpool again away suggests Stoke are going to be tough to beat. 2-0 last time was care of 2 United penalties – that’s how tight the early stages could be.

United should out, but they could take 20+ minutes to score. Stoke may score first. It’s happened before. Score first from a set piece. Eventually it’s 1-1 then Stoke lose 2-1.

United to continue avoiding the draw? And remember old Red Nose has a habit of shuffling the pack pre Champions league. This tends to result in tough tough matches, and this Stoke match is typical. 0-0 back to lay trade a good starter. United are not backable at 1.32 pre match. I suspect their odds might rise in play if Stoke hold out, and United play some 2nd string players.

Keep the faith if a draw for a long time? Back United, lay draw as late as possible if a draw.Eventual Stoke capitulation almost seems programmed into their DNA against the big boys.

3pm – Rangers v Queens Park – 1.19 home   – quick synposis. Rangers at home are scoring 5-5-4. Rangers away cannot win. Queens Park away have won 3 and lost 1 0-1.

Faith in Rangers scoring 4 minimum at home again? The odds suggest so.

3pm – Swansea v Wigan – 2.1 home – poor old Laudrup. We thought he had the midas touch, but now everything Swansea do screams out ” sunday league”. I would not have Swansea as favourites here against the nouse of Premiership hardened Wigan.

These 2 teams have strikingly similar recent form.



the coincidences continue. Both teams had a home 2-2 draw, followed by an away loss to nil, a home defeat, an away loss to nil, and finally a home 2-2 draw.

2 2-2 home draws for the Swans against bottom half sides .

Wigan have not scored or conceded in the first half in their away matches this season ( only 3 mind you) Swansea have conceded 9 of their 11 goals in the first half this season. They have conceded 6 of 7 in the last 1/2 hour of the first half at home.

The first 15 minutes of the match should be 0-0 if these patterns continue.

Swans have conceded first in 71% of matches this season.

With spookily similar form , who will out today? 3-2-0-2 scored at home by Swansea ( they only failed against Everton) suggests they can score today. Wigan have not scored in their last 2 away matches. I am sure they can score against Swansea, having bagged 2 at home v Everton lately ( and Swansea scoring 2 as well last match – both teams Wigan and Swansea 2-2 last match).

Tough to call this one. I am put off by the fact these 2 are in poor form. Will Wigan continue 0-0 first half in away matches? Swans are vulnerable first half so this might end.  Swans could score today as 2 2-2 draws against bottom half suggests, but they are of course vulnerable.

3pm – West Brom v Man City – 1.77 away –  another one of those prices which betrays an up and coming Champions League fixture for City and an away match in the premiership is not an ideal preparation!

This is a tale of home v away. At home, West Brom have won 4, beating Everton and Liverpool with ease. Away from home, West Brom have drawn 2 and lost 1.

Man City at home, have won 3 and drawn 1. But away from home, they beat Fulham 1-2 with an 87th minute goal, and drew 1-1 against Stoke ( City conceded first) and 2-2 v Liverpool ( City were 1-0 and 2-1 down).

Strong at home v vulnerable away at present. Add it the potential team changes for City and we have a potential shock on our hands ( well not a shock, more a taking on of the 1.77 ?)

Fulham have only 1 loss all season, City are unbeaten and have conceded in all bar their last match, and scored in all this season.

West Brom haven’t conceded in the first half hour of matches this season. Both teams have scored 7 and 8 in the last 1/2 hour of matches with West Brom conceding 3 goals in last 1/4 hour of matches. Watch out for late fireworks?

This match will test my theory out about 1.7ish odds. Do they reflect a tight struggle, a 1-1 possibly, or the away side edging a 1-2?

Team news is key with City, as with Chelsea, Arsenal, United et al today.  City look vulnerable here. They’re conceding first away from home, which makes winning difficult and score draws easy! They face a West brom side who beat Everton and Liverpool ( but have yet to meet United, Chelsea, City, Arsenal at home). This is going to be an interesting match to watch. The value is in direct opposition to City, and confidence or otherwise will be determined by the team news.

3pm – West Ham v Southampton – 1.92 home – Saints are the new Blackpool. Wherever they go, goals seem to follow. WWDL for Hammers at home. Loss was v Arsenal and no shock to these eyes. Lucky to get away with a 1-1 v Sunderland.

Wins against Villa and Fulham to nil. saints have scored in all away matches, but have been limited to a single goal by the more established Premiership sides such as Everton and Arsenal. Home and away, saints have scored 2 or more against Man City, Man Utd, Villa and Fulham. Where do West Ham fit in with this bunch?

Only 2 losses this season for the hammers were against Swansea ( known attacking qualities early season) and Arsenal ( strong attacking qualities). Guess what the Saints have? Erm, strong attacking qualities?

Saints have scored and conceded in all bar one match this season. They have conceded 7 and 6 in the last 1/4 hour of 1st and 2nd halves. Here is where they are vulnerable. West Ham have scored 7 of their 8 goals in the first half. If they don’t score first half, then are they opposable 2nd half? West Ham’s wins have come with 1st half goals , then clean sheets for the rest of the match. This failed against Sunderland who scored 1st half, and West Ham equalised 90th minute.

But the Saints? Keeping clean sheets? You’re having a giraffe. The opponent has led at halftime in all of Saint’s 3 away matches. West Ham have scored first in 3/4 home matches.

ANGLES? Well Saints are finding it harder to score away, scoring only 1 goal against Everton and Arsenal. I would not put West Ham in that category.  The Hammers home policy is a strange one. Score in the first half, then keep a clean sheet all the way to 90 minutes.

They have done this successfully twice. But against Sunderland were found out when they could not score 1st half. Saints are still naive in defence and away are extremely vulnerable just before halftime. If Saints go into the break a goal up, they might have a chance of winning. If Hammers score first ( and they have in 3/4 of home matches), they should go on to win.

This is all about who will score first, if there is to be a goal 1st half. I will watch with interest!

3pm – Olympiakos v Xanthi – 1.26 home  – one of the big Greek teams always worth investigating to see, if anything, they can form the basis of a multiple. 1st and 12th meet today and Oly have a perfect 6 from 6 this season. The last 3 head to heads have seen 1-0 Oly win, 1-2 Oly Win ( 87th and 90th minute goals) and 1-0 Xanthi win. It would seem, from head to heads alone, that this 1.26 is too short. 

I said “head to heads alone” deliberately. The price has factored in Oly’s perfect record and home advantage.

Oly are another side in Champions League action on 24th October. Will this affect team news? Xanthi are 12th currently, and sandwiched between 10th and 15th, both of whom were beaten 4-0 and 4-1 by Oly at home. Note though, Oly’s last 2 matches were 1-0 wins. Are the other teams reacting by being typically dour in defence? And will that show from Xanthi, who have conceded 3 at home and 3 away to 3rd and 4th ( a bridge too far?)

Xanthi have conceded 3-3-2 in their last 3 matches. The numbers 2/3/4 seem to surround Xanthi and Oly and could be factored in to a likely correct score. But what do we make of Oly’s 1-0 wins in last 2 matches against 5th and 6th (considering they play 14th today).

Team news must be considered for Oly. Any changes might scupper an ability to score 3 or 4 today if the mood takes them.

4pm – Paris St-G v Reims – 1.22 home – 2nd v 5th so top 5 clash, albeit after only 8 matches.No head to heads suggests the top flight is new to PSG. 4 wins and a draw in last 5 for PSG saw them 2-1 up last match. Reims are in good form too, WDWWDW , with LDD away from home.

2-2-4-2-2 scored by PSG in recent matches and 2-0-2-2 scored at home.

3 draws against top 5 this season for PSG is priced to end today.

Reims have not played any top 6 away, but have drawn with 7th and 9th away from home. All Reims wins have come at home against bottom 6 sides.

Well, PSG are scoring 2 regularly, that’s a start. Reims are unlikely to win, they win at home against bottom sides. The draw is still there. The market suggests the signings for PSG at home will see them clear with the possibility of scoring 2+.

PSG are another Champions League team. We must see Ibra tonight , quite simply, if PSG are to get 2+ goals again.

5pm – Juventus v Napoli – 1.8 home – 3-4-6-3-2-4 in head to heads total goals between these 2 suggests this is likely to be a cracking match. Indeed this is 1st v 2nd so I would not have readily quoted one team odds on.

Equal points too. 6 wins and a 0-0 draw for both sides this season. Juve are 2-0, 2-0, 4-1 at home so far, and Napoli are 0-3, 0-0, 0-1 away. Napoli have not conceded yet away from home. Juve have not scored less than 2 at home.

This is too tight for me to call. One to watch with great interest. History tells us goals. Recent performances suggest goals and , contrarily, tight defences suggest no goals conceded! Hmmmm! Too tricky for me this one. It suggests laying the shorter priced team ( Juve) as this is so tight?

5pm – Real Madrid v Celta Vigo – 1.15 home – 5th v 12th and Real are way off the pace. real have a tricky away Champions League match on 24th October at Dortmund. We may see changes tonight, changes which in the past have made Real Madrid really struggle. 1.15 lay is a bet to nothing really here, but will be reliant on a 0-0 or a 0-1 for us to see any profit.

an obvious Jekyll and Hyde side are Celta. They win at home, lose away from home, and not a draw to be seen.

Celta have lost their last 3 away matches 2-1

Real at home are 1-1, 3-0, 5-1 so have goals in them, quite obviously.  2 losses away, a recent solid 2-2 draw with barca should see Real in good form. You know by now about 1.15 shots, but will a pre Champions League Real Madrid be firing on all cylinders? e expect 3 minimum tonight, and a breaking of Celta’s 2-1 away scoreline.

530pm – Norwich v Arsenal – 1.57 away – 

The odds for Arsenal look unnaturally big here considering their form this season, their transfer signings who are all excelling, and the form of their opponents.

And the reason could be a small matter of a 24th October Champions League match against Schalke at home.

Norwich are yet to win this season, and Arsenal have only lost against Chelsea this season. Against Liverpool and Chelsea, Norwich have conceded 4 and 5 goals. Is this a sign of what we should expect of an improved Arsenal side ( note team changes of course!). At home, Norwich have drawn against QPR and West Ham, and lost 2-5 to Liverpool. DWDW for Arsenal away from home, with draws against Stoke and Man City, wins against Liverpool and West Ham.

Arsenal have now conceded in last 4 matches. Norwich have only kept 1 clean sheet this season, that was at home against West Ham. Arsenal have not played any current bottom 6 away so we have nothing to gauge this current crop of players with.

Both sides are dominated by under 2.5 goals home and away ( albeit a small sample.)

Team news for Arsenal must be checked . I cannot see them losing this match. Their last match before a Champions League match was a 1-2 loss to Chelsea, but Norwich are no Chelsea.

Norwich will not continue losing, that’s for sure, and you’ll get great odds about a win against a team preparing for a Champions League match next week. But performances against Chelsea and Liverpool were dire, and Cazorla, Podolski et al should surely be too good .

645pm – PSV v Willem II- 1.08 home – you know the drill! Look for goals to enhance the odds. Admittedly 2 recent 1.10 shots failed to burst into life, Russia and Portugal with 1-0 and 1-1 draws! Let’s see if PSV keep up the run for these shorties. 2nd v 15th and a chance for top , albeit having played one more match than twente, with a win today.

Not just a win, the market expects a spanking. A Europa league fixture on the 25th October should not be too much of a distraction for PSV.

No draw yet for PSV and 2 defeats were both away. They have scored 3-6-4 to no reply since then. These scorelines of course marry with the 1.08 quote today.

Only 1 win for Willem II was at home last match, a 2nd half 1-0.

Willem have played 1st and 3rd at home this season, losing 2-6 and 0-2. the 2-6 was v Twente, and perhaps more indicative of what PSV can do WITH home advantage.

5-5-4-6 scored by PSV against 11th and lower this season ( Willem are 15th). Possible surprises if Willem replicate the 1-1 away v 8th or 0-0 away v 12th, but PSV’s form recently, against lower teams, and Willem’s 6 goal defeat at home to twente, suggests an ability for PSV to get 4 minimum today if on song.

645pm – Roda JC v Twente – 1.62 away

7pm – Valencia v Ath Bilbao – 1.73 home

745pm – AZ Alkmaar v NEC Nijmegen – 1.71 home

745pm – Lazio v AC Milan – 2.46 home. Lazio the favs here. Milan though might be comfortable away from home pressures.

9pm – Deportivo v Barcelona – 1.34 away – barca’s only dropped points were inevitably against real Madrid, suggesting all else should be a cruise. That would be ok on a normal weekend, but will Barca’s manager make any changes with one eye on the Champions League? Pique and Puyol are missing for Barca. They have conceded 2 in their last 2 against Sevilla and Real Madrid.

Depor only won their 1st match of the season. They have lost their last 3, and a 5-1 loss to real Madrid might suggest the optimum score line today.

Depor have only kept 1 clean sheet this season and only failed to score in 1 match.

barca have scored 3-3-4 then suddenly a 0-0 last match.

Team news key, and it might point to a potential struggle if the team changes are significant. By significant, I mean if Messi is missing.